We resist all sorts of things for all sorts of reasons. But perplexingly,
it usually comes down to this: We resist happiness. It’s perplexing
because at the same time we have an insatiable desire for
I have been resisting happiness my whole life. I see it clearly now,
but I didn’t always. I caught glimpses of it here and there throughout
my life, but it wasn’t until I was forty that I really recognized the
patterns. What is most disturbing and humbling is that even now
that I know how resistance works, how to recognize it, and how to
overcome it, there are still daily instances when I allow it to win.
We tend to see these patterns in other people’s lives with much
more clarity than we see them in our own. For years I have observed
people resisting happiness. We have seen it in the lives of our family,
friends, and colleagues. We have all seen patterns of laziness
and procrastination cripple people personally and professionally.
We have all seen patterns of fear and self-loathing turn beautiful,
intelligent people into a shadow of their true selves. We have all
sat by while people we love sabotage their chances at success and
happiness over and over again. These are the patterns that we see
in people’s lives, patterns that make us wonder why.
Then there are the times when we watch as someone we love,
against the advice of everyone in his or her inner circle, does
something monumentally stupid. We wonder to ourselves, “Why
would anybody do something so stupid?” The answer is universal
and disarmingly simple: People do stupid things because they
mistakenly believe those stupid things will make them happy.
This is the paradox that surrounds our
quest for happiness: We know the things
that will make us happy, but we don’t always
We know how to unleash happiness in our lives, but we don’t.
Why? Resistance. We are all on a quest for happiness, but resistance
gets the better of us.
From Resisting Happiness
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